Renée Green: Within Living Memory
Renéen Green, Secret (Black and White Photographs), 1993. Photograph, 7 x 10 in. Courtesy of the artist and Free Agent Media
Renée Green, Casa Curutchet, La Plata, Argentina, 2017. Still image. Courtesy of the artist and Free Agent Media
Renée Green, Utopia and Dissent, from Space Poem #3 (Media Bicho), 2012–2013. Single-sided banner, 17.5 x 22 in. Courtesy of the artist and Free Agent Media
Installation view, Renée Green, Pacing: Media Bichos / Wavelinks, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 2017. Media Bichos: wood frames, textiles, tables, and seating, dimensions variable, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Study Collection. Courtesy Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University and the artist.
Renée Green, Write Vision in A Tidal Hand, from Space Poem #2 (Laura’s Words), 2011. Silkscreen, 18 x 22 in. Courtesy of the artist and Free Agent Media
Renée Green, Begin Again, Begin Again, 2015. Film still, digital projection, 40 min. Courtesy of the artist and Free Agent Media
Renée Green, Spacing, 2016. Digital print, 22 x 28 in. Courtesy of the artist and Free Agent Media.
Renée Green, Americas:Veritas, 2018. Film still, digital film. Courtesy of the artist and Free Agent Media
Renée Green’s (b. 1959) exhibition Within Living Memory is a meditation spurred by inhabiting an architectural icon—Le Corbusier’s Carpenter Center—while exploring the historical and institutional legacies of modernism’s other forms, including cinema, visual art, poetry, music, and literature. Within Living Memory brings together interconnected bodies of work produced by Green over the past decade that address conditions of residency and displacement, subjective experience, institutional memory, notions of progress, and the inevitability of decay. The encounters that unfold through films, videos, sound works, photographs, banners, and prints draw linkages between the forms and concepts of seriality, modularity, and refrain.
Many bodies of work on display will be exhibited for the first time in the Eastern United States, including the debut of of a new essay film, commissioned by the Carpenter Center, inspired by materials found in Harvard libraries and archives. In this new work, Green positions Le Corbusier’s Cambridge-situated Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts in dialogue with his Casa Curutchet, located in La Plata, Argentina, as the architect’s only two built structures in the Americas (despite Le Corbusier’s ambition to apply his sweeping urbanistic vision to locations on both continents).
Including Green’s recent essay films ED/HF (2017), Walking in NYL (2016), and Begin Again, Begin Again (2015), Within Living Memory advances new visual and aural linkages between diverse international figures and sites, spanning Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. In other time-based works, Green connects Viennese émigré architect Rudolf M. Schindler, literary luminaries Gertrude Stein, Laura (Riding) Jackson, and Muriel Rukeyser, and polymaths and activists Albert Einstein and Paul Robeson.
Within Living Memory also showcases a rare presentation of Green’s installation Secret (1993, 2006, 2010). Comprised of a video in three parts with soundtracks in English and French, along with dozens of black-and-white photographs, Secret reflects on the artist’s experience inhabiting a semi-deserted apartment in Le Corbusier’s concrete housing block, Unité d’habitation, located in Firminy, France. Designed in 1952 as a utopian proposal for collective living, Green encountered the iconic housing complex as a “modern ruin” when she was invited to participate in the 1993 group exhibition “Project Unité.”
Within Living Memory is the final installment of Renée Green: Pacing, the artist’s two-year residency at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.
Renée Green is an artist, writer, and filmmaker known for her highly layered and formally complex multimedia installations in which ideas, perception, and experience are examined from myriad perspectives. Her exhibitions, videos and films have been seen throughout the world in museums and art institutions, biennials and festivals. A prolific writer, Green’s writings were recently collected in her book Other Planes of There: Selected Writings (Duke University Press, 2014). She is a Professor at the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, School of Architecture & Planning.
Pacing is the final iteration of the CCVA initiative Institution (Building), a biennial invitation to artists to consider the institutional behaviors and practices of the Carpenter Center and Harvard University. In repeated visits over the course of two years to the university, artists engage through an expanded form of exhibition with various facets related to the archive, architecture, and history of the Carpenter Center. Their work manifests in anything from exhibitions, events, and installations to interventions, tours, and publications, taking shape and changing during the residency.